HAGERSTOWN: Washington County Print

 

1919 Jewish population was 250. The Synagogue in Hagerstown, to which most of the decedents belonged, was B'nai Abraham, founded about 1800. Another synagogue, called B'nai Jacob, existed in Hagerstown, MD in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Another older Jewish Cemetery may have existed in Hagerstown, but appeared to have been "paved over." Certainly, Jews resided in (and died in) Western Maryland well before the 1890s. Their burial site is unknown.

 

Sons of Abraham Cemetery: Virginia Ave., B'nai Abraham Congregation Cemetery. Founded 1894. Source: John Drayman, Montrose, CA This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it who also supplied the names for the OWBR (now the JOWBR - ed note): Near the town of Williamsport, the cemetery served the Jewish Community in Hagerstown, MD. Most of the decedents buried here were Jews of Russian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Polish ancestry. The overall grounds also include another cemetery at the rear of the property, which was originally referred to as simply the "Colored Graveyard at Halfway." The earliest date of death found on the markers in the Hebrew Cemetery is 1895. However, this appears to be unusual, since no other markers date back that far. The majority of the markers show dates of death in a range beginning in the early 1900s and continuing through the 1930s. Of a number of unmarked gravestones, some read only "Infant Boy" or "Infant Girl." Also, this list of names from the Hebrew Cemetery at Halfway in the possession of Mr. Drayman should not be considered "the final comprehensive list," since other people, including members of his own family, were buried there later than the most recent date of death on this list.

UPDATE: B'nai Jacob Synagogue in Hagerstown existed. Research by Mr. Drayman indicates that there is proof that there indeed was such a congregation though it only existed for a year or so. There is still nothing about this that appears in any published work, but Mr. Drayman has copies of records and newspapers articles that prove that this congregation did exist. Julian Preisler, Falling Waters, WV This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [January 2006]

UPDATE: There is only one extant Jewish cemetery in Hagerstown--universally called "the Jewish Cemetery." B'nai Abraham Cemetery on Virginia Avenue "near Williamsport, Maryland" "in Halfway, Maryland" carries a Hagerstown, Maryland post office address, since Halfway, and possibly also Williamsport, have no post offices of their own. In other words, Sons of Abraham (B'nai Abraham) and Halfway Cemeteries are one and the same. I spoke with Mr. Drayman by email today and to the cemetery director, Noel Brady, by phone, to verify this information. Source: Richard Bloom, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [January 2007]

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 January 2009 20:39